Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones Review

Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I am not usually a huge fantasy reader, but I was intrigued when I saw this was about a Goblin King.

This starts off with an Overture, which is fitting since so much of this book revolves around music. I really enjoyed the Overture. Then we get started on the story. The first chapter was pretty intimidating. You are introduced to so many characters and aspects of this world. I was a little taken back with learning everything so quickly. Even the characters have two or more names (example: Elizabeth, Liesil, and Frauein are all the same person). I know some of this makes sense once you get farther into the story, but it was a lot to take in at once with character and plot building.

By the second chapter, you start seeing the suspense the Goblin King is bringing and these were my favorite parts. This is what sucked me in. I really enjoyed the market scenes and the mystery behind the Goblin King in these scenes. 

Then the Goblin King takes Kath, and Elizabeth is left playing "a game" with the King in which she needs to enter the Underworld to save her sister. The Goblin King has also erased all knowing of anything Kath in the real world to add a challenge to the game he has set up for Elizabeth. I liked that the grandmother, Constance, is also aware of the games and is still in the reality of what happened.

I found the parts solely focused on music dragging, and I preferred reading the parts involving the actual main characters. The writing was beautiful and I really enjoyed the descriptions of everything going on with the characters and the worlds. I was also a little annoyed with how much they focused on Elizabeth not noting her own self worth and how beautiful she really was. It was a little repetitive. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this book and recommend it to any fans of Fantasy. 

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